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Acorn Naturalists' collection of quality replicas and models includes animal track, scat, skull, talon, claw, tooth, fur, egg and leaf replicas, as well as models of insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and skulls.

  Why Replicas?

Naturalists occasionally come across skeletons in the field, and it is not unusual to find bones and other bits of nature on a naturalist’s shelf or in museum and nature center displays. This is quite different from the direct purchase of real body parts, such as skulls, claws, and pelts, a practice that encourages, among other things, unnecessary (and difficult to regulate) killing of animals to supply the demand. This is particularly problematic when predatory species are eliminated from ecosystems for their pelts, skulls or claws.

For the past two decades we have found that for most educational purposes, replicas offer a superior alternative. Replicas offer strength and durability, and do not have any special storage, handling, or permit requirements, and no animals are killed in the process. Toward this end, we are pleased to offer a wide selection of museum-quality, locally hand-crafted replicas along with fur replicas.

In this section you will also find Acorn Naturalists trademark Kindfur® and ScatCast® replicas, along with other track, fish, leaf, life cycle and animal replicas.

We appreciate your continued support of our replica concept. Your order allows us to continue to support replica artisans and develop high quality resources that are both educationally and ethically sound.

 
  References, Activities and Tools
This section includes skull identification manuals, activity guides, and related educational resources and tools for studying animal anatomy.
 
  Display Cases for Replicas
Acorn Naturalists offers display cases that offer protection for anything you want to preserve. We have museum quality clear rectangular displays as well as glass and plastic-topped Riker-style display cases. Protect and display skull replicas, talon, claw or tooth replicas or dried flowers, seeds, owl pellet bones, gemstones, fossils or any other collectables that you want to display and protect.
 
  Animal Signatures® Displays
Just as we learn to identify the handwriting of others, we can learn to read signatures left by wildlife. Even if one does not see the animals, by recognizing animal clues, it is possible to determine which animals are in the area, and approximately when they were there. This unique set of 6" x 8" glass-topped animal clue displays provide real examples of these signatures, as found on school grounds, backyards, fields, in parks. Samples are ethically collected—for example, our feather clue display uses only naturally shed domestic fowl feathers. Eggs are from infertile domestic fowl. Squirrel cones are collected after squirrels have secured their meal and tossed them aside. Animal Signatures® displays will spark discussion and interest with ages 9-adult.
 
  Kind Fur® Replicas

Acorn Naturalists' replica fur (Kind Fur®) is an ideal resource for educators. Designed mainly to give children the look and feel of fur, these replicas go well with storytelling and discovery table activities. We need to emphasize, however, that these replicas do not have eyes, ears, noses, paws or tails (these are not study skins). But unlike real fur, replica fur does not have special storage or treatment requirements. It also does not require knowledge of complex and ever-changing regulations regarding state of origin fur tags, permits, transfers and associated record keeping. Most importantly, Kind Fur® does not require the harvesting of animals better left in the wild.

Regarding these replicas, it is important to note that in nature there is tremendous variation in fur color, even on a single specimen, let alone among the same species from different locations or seasons. These replicas are close in appearance (and feel) to real furs, but won't match perfectly with any given real fur. Also, as can be the case with skull replicas, high quality faux fur can sometimes cost more than real fur. You can, however, always tell replica fur by looking at the backing, which is cloth, not animal hide.

Each Kind Fur® replica comes securely adhered with non-toxic water based glue to the inside of a protective and attractive 9" x 12" x 2" wooden slide-top box (custom crafted in the US specifically for Kind Fur®). Students can study and feel the fur, and slide the protective lid over it when done. Boxes are labeled on the back, making it easy to set them out on a table for quiz games or activities such as matching the sample with replica skulls, tracks or scat.

Twenty five years ago, Acorn Naturalists made a concerted effort to encourage people to embrace the skull replica concept to reduce demand for real skulls. Acorn Naturalists is now pioneering the concept of replacing real fur with replica fur, or Kind Fur®.

You can download a complete description of all of the Kind Fur® replicas we offer by clicking here.

 
  ScatCast© Replicas (flexible scat positives).
Acorn Naturalists' trademark ScatCast© replicas are custom arranged and cast from scat samples collected in the field by Acorn Naturalists. Our ScatCast© replicas show every detail found in the original specimen: each is custom cast using tough, natural-looking, non-toxic, flexible vinyl polymers that last for years. Our smaller ScatCast© replicas are arranged and mounted on flexible pads. Larger ones are custom arranged for a realistic look when placed on trails (many naturalists use these replicas to "seed" trails and then discuss "who was here," predator/prey relationships, or food preferences). To keep ScatCast© replicas looking fresh, clean occasionally with any liquid soap.
 
  Scat Displays and Reference Materials
Scat samples provide valuable clues both to the presence of an animal as well as diet preferences. These unique collections of sterilized real scat feature a mix of both invertebrate and vertebrate scats. Each specimen has been carefully freeze-dried and sealed within a 16" X 12" glass-topped exhibit case. Silhouettes of each animal appear alongside the scat sample. Also included in this section are reference materials for identifying scat samples in the field.
 
  Alphabetical Listing of all Skull Replicas
This section contains hundreds of high quality, hand-crafted fish, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal skull replicas.

In addition to those listed here, we have access to over 500 other skull, talon, and bone replicas - please call or send us an email describing what you are looking for.

 
  Fish Skull Replicas
Included in this section are museum quality fish skull replicas.
 
  Fish Replicas and Kits for Fish Printing (Gyotaku)
Fish printing, or Gyotaku, incorporates science (fish diversity, anatomy, ecology), art (create colorful paintings, note cards, displays), math (measure and count fins, proportions, count fin rays), reading (use with stories about aquatic environments) and creative writing (write fact or fiction about the fish prints). All ages and abilities can enjoy creating beautiful, unique, artistic prints. We offer a wide selection of both fresh and saltwater species.
 
  Amphibian Skull Replicas
In this section you will find museum quality amphibian skull replicas.
 
  Reptile Skull Replicas
In this section you will find museum quality reptile skull replicas.
 
  Bird Skull Replicas
This section includes a wide selection of museum quality bird skull replicas.
 
  Bird Talon Replicas
These realistic bird talon replicas show how raptors are able to grasp their prey securely using their talons as hooks.
 
  Bird Egg Replicas, References, Magnets
Each of these life-size replicas is individually handcrafted to resemble eggs as they would be found in nature. Since they are hand-created one at a time, there is some variation, just as occurs in eggs from different regions. These exquisite replicas are used in museum displays and are also perfect for the classroom, nature center, or home. Ages 10 and up. All eggs come with a display stand. For additional data on the bird egg replicas we offer simply click here.
 
  Owls - Activity Guides, Pellets, Charts & Displays
This section includes owl pellet kits, a variety of natural owl pellets and synthetic perfect pellets, activity guides, DVDs, and owl reference guides. Also offered are metal forceps and probes for owl pellet dissections as well as bone sorting and identification charts. Several species of owl skull, egg and talon replicas are also available along with educational displays and posters discussing owl ecology and behavior.
 
  Mammal Skull Replicas
In this section you will find a wide selection of museum quality mammal skull replicas.
 
  Articulating Mammal Skull Models®
These flat, two-dimensional, articulating skull models are precisely cut from original, life-size, full-color skull paintings. They are durable and waterproof, and their two-dimensional design (with jaws that open and close) makes them easy to bring into the field and share when discussing animals that might live in the area. Provides an engaging, hands-on resource for the trail or classroom. Printed on thick, waterproof paper that is made from inorganic minerals - no trees or toxic agents (such as bleaching chemicals) are used in the manufacture of this very green, very unique resource. Twelve different mammal skull species are available. Ages 7-adult.
 
  Trace-A-Skull® Mammal Skull Templates
These life-size templates are perfect for making accurate two-dimensional skull replicas. Similar to Trace-a-Track® templates, Trace-a-Skull® templates are durable, washable, and can be used with a variety of media including pencil, pen, paint or charcoal. Printed on thick, waterproof paper that is made from inorganic minerals - no trees or toxic agents (such as bleaching chemicals) are used in the manufacture of this very green, very unique resource. Twelve different species of mammal skull templates are available. Ages 7-adult.
 
  Small Skull Replica Sets
Use these collections of skull replicas for comparing skull form, function and structure. These detailed skull replicas range in size from 2" to 3" in length. Each skull set comes packaged in its own storage container. For children ages 5-11.
 
  Animal Claw Replicas
Collection of life-size animal claw replicas, perfect for demonstrating specialized animal adaptations.
 
  Tooth Replicas, Activities and References
This section includes a wide range of animal tooth replicas, activities and references.
 
  Mammal Track Casts (mounted on plaques)
These life-size, three-dimensional mammal track casts are mounted on plaques and cast to give the tracks a realistic appearance. Each is individually cast and detailed local artisans - perfect for classroom teaching or museum quality displays.
 
  Mammal Track Panels
Acorn Naturalists offers two educational mammal track panels, including a large 36" square panel that provides a perfect tracking teaching tool for classrooms and nature centers.
 
  Animal Track Replicas (flexible positives).
These life-size animal track replicas are individually cast using flexible phthalate-free vinyl. Use for sand tracking games (glue replicas to blocks of wood using vinyl glue and stamp tracks into sand boxes) or bring into the field to compare tracks or make prints. These accurate casts from museum specimens show every skin fold, claw or scale. These are wonderful hands-on tools for teaching anatomy, adaptations, behavior, ecology or tracking skills. Use soapy cleansers to clean occasionally. Turtle and mammal replicas are offered in sets featuring one back and one front foot unless noted as ea, in which case only one foot is included (all birds, some mammals).
 
  Animal Track Replicas (hard positives).
This collection of 25 hard resin, life-size track replicas are rock hard, making them perfect for making imprints in sand tracking boxes or for making animal tracks in wet cement or the PerfectCast® replica compound we offer. By comparison, flexible track replicas we also offer have the "feel" of a real paw and often show more detail (skin folds, pads) than the hard resin replicas. Each of these two track replica types have their own unique uses as hands-on teaching tools. Note: all of the hard track replicas are single replicas; on the mammals mostly hind feet unless otherwise noted.
 
  Track Molds (flexible negatives).
Made from flexible phthalate-free vinyl polymers, these life-size animal track molds can be filled with plaster, clay or PerfectCast, also available from Acorn Naturalists. Use the positive track casts you make as instructional aids, pressing them into moist sand or dirt to create a story (such as coyote tracks chasing rabbit tracks), for ink prints, or to compare with field specimens. Everyone can have fun making tracks—students or campers can take them home or make displays. Clean with occasionally with soapy cleansers. Each mold also features the name of the track and hind (H) or front (F) paw reversed out so that it appears correctly on the positive. Each of the species listed below includes a hind and a front track mold (set), unless designated as ea (birds, some mammals). For additional information on using these replicas, simply click here.
 
  Track Casting Kits and Casting Compounds
Casting tracks in the field can be great fun, all the while improving observational skills. Acorn Naturalists offers an ideal casting compound (Perfect Cast)in convenient easy to use and store plastic tubs for field and classroom use. In this section you will also find Mold-it replica kits, professional mold-making and casting kits.
 
  Miniature Animal Models
These high quality, realistic models are perfect for hands-on learning. Included here are invertebrates, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, marine and terrestrial mammals and complete sets within each category.
 
  Leaf Replicas (flexible positives)
Actual imprints of leaves that have been cast in flexible vinyl for use in art projects or as a tool for plant identification. Press with various colors of stamp pads or roll on different colors of block inks to make leaf prints using a brayer. (Note: we also offer a full range of colorful block inks and brayers - simply type "block ink" or "brayer" in the search area at the top of each page). Leaf replicas range in size from 5-9”.
 
  Replica Storage and Display Containers
Included here are replia storage containers as well as a wide variety of products for making your own museum-quality displays. Also in this section are observation supplies for field and classroom use.
 

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